/ Ben A'n Car Park - Gobsmacked!

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Cam Forrest on 29 Apr 2012
Its a few months since I've been to my wee local hill, Ben A'n. Gobsmacked today to find a ticket machine and car parking charges introduced by the Forestry Commission. £3 for the day, £1 for an hour. Big new sign says aren't they good people, they provide the wildlife and the views etc, but they only charge for the car park!

I'm not aware anyone ever asked them to maintain any path on the hill. There's been ok ways up for a century and more.

Rearrange the following: wedge, end, thin, of.
Eric9Points - on 29 Apr 2012
In reply to Cam Forrest:

Not sure whether these charges are enforceable.

The car park at Loch Muick charges as well but for some reason there's no obligation to pay if I understand correctly.

Milesy - on 29 Apr 2012
I wouldn't (and wont) pay it next time I am up.
Tim Chappell - on 29 Apr 2012
In reply to Eric9Points:

In such car parks I'll pay a voluntary payment, I'll refuse a compulsory one.

I do the same in cathedrals.
zebidee - on 29 Apr 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

+1 to that!
Kevin Woods - on 29 Apr 2012
In reply to Cam Forrest: +1 to Milesy and Tim!
dek - on 29 Apr 2012
In reply to Cam Forrest:
We could just get Into the car park at Glen Doll this winter due to deep snow. The warden left a pre printed note on all the windscreens though, to make sure every car stumped up, similar story to yours.
In reply to Cam Forrest: Thanks for raising this Cam; I'm trying to find out more
thomas - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Cam Forrest: Presumably your not talking about the car park at Keiloch..I think there was a charge there about 14 months ago last time I was up. Do you mean the one at Linn of Quoich if so I will avoid that when up there this June! Think there is a charge at Linn of Dee too.
LA's and other organisations are really raking it in on car parking fees in the hills off walkers and climbers..it's an easy 'win' for them it's now a tenner for the day at pen-y-pass, about eight quid in Grasmere for the day plus in the lakes pay and display machines are appearing in lay-by/view points e.g. Thirlmere right accross the road from the 'official' pay and display car park! Absolute rip off, rant over ! Although if you are a national trust member...and you park on their land/car parks i.e. Langdale it's free (mind you the memberships not cheap! :-( If the rates certainly in the Lakes and Wales were fair and reasonable I would pay but a tenner a day? No way!
BruceM - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Cam Forrest:
I suppose most of you have noticed that over the last few months many of Scotland's forestry car parks are now Pay and Display -- or being prepared for it.

It makes going into the outdoors now seem like any other commercial activity, rather than the "getting away from it all" that it was prior.

I can understand why we might pay at the mountain bike parks: because somebody has provided some great all weather tracks, and we should really help fund them.

But in the big hills most of us don't need any of the facilities they say they provide. We are happy to park on any bit of gravel on the edge of the road. And we are gone a zillion miles from their location from early till (usually) after 8pm or so.

So now I guess we are forced to park outside of the car park. Somewhere along the road edge on the way in.

The one thing I would be prepared to pay for at these road ends is a toilet. To save crapping in the hills. That's what I would call Pay and "Display" (especially the morning after some hill food!!)

But they never provide these.

Regarding earlier posts: How do we know for sure that these charges are not enforceable?
Darren Jackson - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:
>
> I do the same in cathedrals.

Are you seriously trying to tell us that you park in cathedrals!?!?!?... You're an utter nave.
jonnie3430 - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to BruceM:

If the machine is broken a note in the window is enough for the collector. A twig is enough.
zebidee - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to thomas:
> (In reply to Cam Forrest) ...
> LA's and other organisations are really raking it in on car parking fees in the hills off walkers and climbers..it's an easy 'win' for them it's now a tenner for the day at pen-y-pass, about eight quid in Grasmere for the day plus in the lakes pay and display machines are appearing in lay-by/view points e.g. Thirlmere right accross the road from the 'official' pay and display car park!

What's to stop you from parking on the grass verge outside the car park (other than fear of losing your wing mirror)?

Certainly in the case of the Ben A'an car park there're no "no stopping" signs or double yellows so surely you could just park up. Granted it'd cause havoc because of how narrow the road is but if enough people did it then maybe they'd take notice.

Jim Braid - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Cam Forrest: They've also introduced the same parking charges £3 a day at the two main Forestry Commission car parks at my local hill Bennachie. It's also got graded charges starting from £1 per hour so it catches all the dog walkers as well. It's ideal for short 2-3 hour walks so I've just swallowed hard and bought a £30 annual permit.

In their defence they have put a lot of effort into path repair and improvement, toilet facilities etc. Given the numbers using the hill I think the toilet facilities and path maintenance are necessary. If you accept that these things are indeed necessary then the question is who should pay for them. There's got to be a strong argument for it being the user who pays.
Jim Braid - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to thomas:
> (In reply to Cam Forrest) Presumably your not talking about the car park at Keiloch..I think there was a charge there about 14 months ago last time I was up. Do you mean the one at Linn of Quoich if so I will avoid that when up there this June! Think there is a charge at Linn of Dee too.

Think it's the Ben A'an in the Trossachs he's talking about. There's been a charge at Linn of Dee (owned by NTS) for many years now.
Cam Forrest on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Jim Braid: Yes, thanks, Jim, Ben A'an in the Trossachs. "Wee" hill was the clue, although it would have helped if I'd spelt it correctly.
MG - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Cam Forrest: £3 with £1 for short periods and a yearly option doesn't sound too bad to me. Simply providing a car park will cost something and the FC (and other land owners) do a lot of general land management. Someone has to pay this and the users of land would seem the obvious choice. We could go back to landowners banning access instead...

I do object to excessive charges though and in particular the hard-sell national trust membership land-drovers that occur in the lakes.
Peter Owens on 30 Apr 2012 - host-2-101-117-77.as13285.net
In reply to Cam Forrest: Without seeing the car park notice I suspect this is a 'Civil Parking Notice' which basically means any 'fixed penalty' issued is an invoice and not one issued as part of an off street parking order (Road Traffic Act). The exchange of money for a ticket is the contract you enter into unless the car park operator does not issue the ticket (machine not working etc) in which case you'd have to prove that the operator didn't issue the ticket and thus void the contract. A fixed penalty issued under an off street parking order is different in that you are agreeing to pay the excess charge in lieu of prosecution. All parking areas working under both processes have to have adequate signage in place or fixed penalty is negated.
jonnie3430 - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to MG:
> Someone has to pay this and the users of land would seem the obvious choice. We could go back to landowners banning access instead...
>
> I do object to excessive charges though and in particular the hard-sell national trust membership land-drovers that occur in the lakes.

It's forestry commission land though, they are already financed through taxes. Because of that charging for carparks to support their revenue (if this is what it is,) is a direct tax against those using the carparks. I think if additional revenue is required, it should not be by this method.
Ramblin dave - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to BruceM:
> (In reply to Cam Forrest)
> I suppose most of you have noticed that over the last few months many of Scotland's forestry car parks are now Pay and Display -- or being prepared for it.
>
> It makes going into the outdoors now seem like any other commercial activity, rather than the "getting away from it all" that it was prior.

Presumably you never need to fill up on the way, then?
Simon Caldwell - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Cam Forrest:
£3 per day would be a bargain south of the border. Presumably once parking fees become the norm in Scotland as well, the charges will gradually increase to those that we have to pay.
Personally, I'll happily pay £2 or £3 per day, but actively seek to avoid paying £6 or £8 (or £10) per day.
MG - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
I think if additional revenue is required, it should not be by this method.


Such as?
jonnie3430 - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave:

But how will you overnight now? How can you park you car up and disappear for a few days, you won't be able to buy tickets in advance and paying for three days in advance is not guaranteed to work with the numpties that will enforce this.

PAH
Ramblin dave - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave)
>
> But how will you overnight now? How can you park you car up and disappear for a few days, you won't be able to buy tickets in advance and paying for three days in advance is not guaranteed to work with the numpties that will enforce this.
>
> PAH

Agree on that point and I hope there's a sensible way around it. It's just the "I drive out to the hills in my car with about £1000 worth of shiny gear because I want to get away from commercialism, but paying £3 for parking ruins that" line that I'm unconvinced by.

I dunno, I'm sometimes nervous about the creeping commercialisation of absolutely everything, but you're still free to hitch, cycle, walk from home or park somewhere else if you want to get into the hills and really can't stomach three quid for parking...
Milesy - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> I dunno, I'm sometimes nervous about the creeping commercialisation of absolutely everything, but you're still free to hitch, cycle, walk from home or park somewhere else if you want to get into the hills and really can't stomach three quid for parking...

Any money I spend is my own of my free will for the persuit of my love of the outdoors. I refuse to be charged out of my own choice to access the hills. We fought hard for the Land Reform Act so I am unhappy by someone saying I can only exercise my rights by paying.
Ramblin dave - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Milesy:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave)
> [...]
>
> We fought hard for the Land Reform Act so I am unhappy by someone saying I can only exercise my rights by paying.

But they aren't saying that - you're still free to exercise those rights by any means that don't involve leaving your car in a Forestry Commission car park. And if you are using your car, you're already paying for petrol etc.
MG - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Milesy: I didn't realize the Land Reform Act had a free parking clause in it.
jonnie3430 - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to MG:

Taxes (see point about is additional cash is required, I would like to know if the FC is near skint)!! It's our land, maintained through the taxpayer and whatever the FC get from management of the trees. The carparks have existed for years, it's not like an investment where they need return to pay for it. It's the faff of meeting up in a free car park and driving to a pay and display one so there is only one car there, etc... that is disappointing. It acts against the "lets nip up there for an hour," if you have to get change for the carpark first.

Why should any carpark charge money? I don't get this argument that it's OK because somewhere else is.
Milesy - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to Milesy) I didn't realize the Land Reform Act had a free parking clause in it.

If there is nowhere else safe and convenient to park then by enforcing charges you are effectively being prevented from access.

This sets a precedent that any land owner can come along and set parking charges on any pre existing informal parking? How would this be any different to seeing parking meters appear in other informal laybyes or parking used anywhere for that matter?

Hypothetical situation:

FC: Right you need to pay for the car park
Me: Ok I will use the laybye 500m down the road
FC: That is actually still FC land so we want to charge you for that
Me: Right where is not FC land?
FC: If you park 5 miles down the road

So my rights of access would be bulldozed.
MG - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> Taxes (see point about is additional cash is required, I would like to know if the FC is near skint)!! It's our land, maintained through the taxpayer and whatever the FC get from management of the trees.

Sure, but a swimming pool, say, is "ours" too and funded to an extent by the taxpayer but you wouldn't expect to swim for free. Lots of people don't use the either swimming pools or FC carparks and forests so why should they pay the full cost of providing them? Isn't asking the users to pay a slightly larger proportion reasonable.


>
> Why should any carpark charge money?

As above - to top up FC income that is, presumably, coming under pressure from the general lack of money around. Regarding paying, I agree change is awkward but it is easy to have mobile phone type payments now, and an annual ticket is offered too. An annual FC/NT/National Park/Utilities parking ticket would be helpful.
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MG - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Milesy: As above, one way or another the cost of land management has to be met. By insisting on free parking you are essentially demanding either that all taxpayers fully cover the costs of FC land management so you can enjoy the land even if they don't get any benefit. Or that the quality of land management of FC land drops.

Alternatively private owners aren't renowned for doing a good job (e.g. over-stocking with deer) when trying to cover land management costs, which means your enjoyment of the outdoors suffers. The FC these days aren't doing badly, although I am sure far from perfect. I don't object to a small additional charge for this.
Ramblin dave - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Milesy:

> So my rights of access would be bulldozed.

Unless you hitch, cycle or even walk. I mean, you need to walk a long way to get to the top of Ben Macdui, but you still have the right of access to that.

I basically agree that making the hills accessible to anyone who wants to get out in them is an important thing to do, I just don't see that a £3 parking fee is the biggest obstacle to that.
Milesy - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to MG:
> Sure, but a swimming pool, say, is "ours" too and funded to an extent by the taxpayer but you wouldn't expect to swim for free. Lots of people don't use the either swimming pools or FC carparks and forests so why should they pay the full cost of providing them? Isn't asking the users to pay a slightly larger proportion reasonable.

There are many informal parking areas which have nothing to do with the FC but are on FC land. So you are trying to say that as the landowner they can then come along, put some gravel down and an information board, and then start charging for something which has always been there and used? That is nothing but profiteering in principal.
Milesy - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> Unless you hitch, cycle or even walk. I mean, you need to walk a long way to get to the top of Ben Macdui, but you still have the right of access to that.

So the Ski Centre on Cairn Gorm decide to start charging. Ok I will park down at Glenmore somewhere "sorry, you need to pay to park here", ok I will park in Coylumbridge "sorry, you need to pay to park here". With the exception of parking in my drive way in Airdrie and walking from there to Macdui your proposal at the core is rotten.
jonnie3430 - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
> [...]
>
> Sure, but a swimming pool, say, is "ours" too and funded to an extent by the taxpayer but you wouldn't expect to swim for free. Lots of people don't use the either swimming pools or FC carparks and forests so why should they pay the full cost of providing them? Isn't asking the users to pay a slightly larger proportion reasonable.
>
If they had built anything it would be another matter, if they were providing a service. All they have done is given me a space to leave my car which is already there. Your concept would be better suited if you compared it to charging for parking for a loch or sea swimming area.

Proportion wise, the number of things covered be tax is immense. You are suggesting that the ill are charged more. Drivers pay more road tax, council tax residents pay more, can someone remove my contribution to the Olympics, the Millenium Dome, Ratho, WICC, Cairngorm Funicular, everyone else's MP etc... from my tax because I don't use them!!!
>
> [...]
>
> As above - to top up FC income that is, presumably, coming under pressure from the general lack of money around. Regarding paying, I agree change is awkward but it is easy to have mobile phone type payments now, and an annual ticket is offered too. An annual FC/NT/National Park/Utilities parking ticket would be helpful.

Or just pay a bit more tax and have them all free? Look, a solution that doesn't require electronic hardware in every carpark in the country, that doesn't need someone endlessly driving around to fix and empty. Why are you so happy to roll over and stick your feet in the air? Vodaphones missing tax bill and google's tax avoidance would be enough to pay for the carpark contribution to the FC for years, but we are happy with it!!!!??
Ramblin dave - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Milesy: the right of access only applies to
So would you say that people who don't own cars already have no right of access? That the Land Reform Act failed by not mandating a free taxi service for non car owners?
ceri - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Cam Forrest: I think it's a shame for them to start charging for parking in the countryside.
Walking (or cycling etc) in the country is free exercise. The government want us to take more exercise, so should encourage walking, not start charging for parking.
It's the same here in Derbyshire, lots of previously free or honesty box carparks (e.g. Black rocks, high peak junction, Middleton top just around Wirksworth) are now pay and display (and a lot more than the pound the honesty box charged). A friend who works in the shop/cafe at high peak junction has reported less visitors, so i think it's definitely driven people away.
MG - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:

> Proportion wise, the number of things covered be tax is immense. You are suggesting that the ill are charged more. Drivers pay more road tax, council tax residents pay more,

Right, so why should parking be different?


can someone remove my contribution to the Olympics, the Millenium Dome, Ratho, WICC, Cairngorm Funicular, everyone else's MP etc... from my tax because I don't use them!!!


You could well argue all of those and I might agree. Some things (health, defence, schools) everyone benefits from and it is reasonable that everyone pays for. Others this is less true of (sports, FC parking) so a half and half arrangement seems fair. And other are entirely individual, which is why we don't have government funded climbing gear, for instance.

Why are you so happy to roll over and stick your feet in the air?

Why are you so happy to have others pay for your enjoyment?

Vodaphones missing tax bill and google's tax avoidance would be enough to pay for the carpark contribution to the FC for years, but we are happy with it!!!!??

I am not happy about this but it is irrelevant.

jonnie3430 - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to MG:

You're just winding me up, or are pretty thick. Pay as much as you want for your parking then, you have too much money.
MG - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Milesy:
> (In reply to MG)
> [...]
>
> There are many informal parking areas which have nothing to do with the FC but are on FC land. .....That is nothing but profiteering in principal.

You seem to be saying that landowners charging others to use their land is "profiteering", which is a bit odd. If I park on your lawn and refuse to pay, would you be happy with that? The LRA allows us to walk (and a few other things) on most land; it doesn't give us the right to do other things on it or prevent landowners for charging for the land to be used for other things.

MG - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> You're just winding me up, or are pretty thick.

You know that cliche about resorting to abuse indicating you have lost the argument? There is a reason for cliches.
jonnie3430 - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to MG:

I'm not picking apart obvious holes just because you want to waste some time.
slacky on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Milesy:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave)
> [...]
>
> So the Ski Centre on Cairn Gorm decide to start charging. Ok I will park down at Glenmore somewhere "sorry, you need to pay to park here", ok I will park in Coylumbridge "sorry, you need to pay to park here". With the exception of parking in my drive way in Airdrie and walking from there to Macdui your proposal at the core is rotten.

Use public transport FFS.

A car is a luxury, parking it somewhere convenient for _you_ and not paying a penny even more so.
jonnie3430 - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to slacky:
> (In reply to Milesy)
> [...]
>
> Use public transport FFS.
>
> A car is a luxury, parking it somewhere convenient for _you_ and not paying a penny even more so.

You do it then. On your two week climbing holidays to the lakes that you talk about in your profile, only use public transport. See how much climbing you get done then. See how different the costs are between four taking public transport and four in a car. Public transport is run for profit, not convenience to passengers. It is more of a luxury than a car.
Ramblin dave - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to slacky)
> [...]
>
> You do it then. On your two week climbing holidays to the lakes that you talk about in your profile, only use public transport. See how much climbing you get done then. See how different the costs are between four taking public transport and four in a car. Public transport is run for profit, not convenience to passengers. It is more of a luxury than a car.

Then I'd say that that's a much bigger problem in terms of access to the hills (and in general) than three quid split between everyone in the car to park in the most convenient location...
In reply to Cam Forrest: I've asked FCS for more info and their response is included in this UKH news piece: http://www.ukhillwalking.com/news/item.php?id=67089
Milesy - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave:

What if the FC put a razor wire fence and a turnstyle at the path and you had to pay to get onto the path? That is that no different. It is "their land" and "their path" isn't it?
Ramblin dave - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Milesy:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave)
>
> What if the FC put a razor wire fence and a turnstyle at the path and you had to pay to get onto the path? That is that no different. It is "their land" and "their path" isn't it?

No, that's completely different because in that case they are specifically barring you from getting onto the land. If you hitch, cycle or walk up there you are still entirely free to get onto the land. If there wasn't already a car park there, they wouldn't be obliged to construct one just to allow you access.

And you haven't answered the question about people who don't own cars. Is their right of access violated automatically?
Jim Braid - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com: Thanks Dan. I've just checked and I was out on Bennachie about 25 times in the first 3 months of this year so worth mentioning again that there is an annual charge of £30 which covers all the FCS car parks in the North East.
Ramblin dave - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave:
Come to that, is my right of access being compromised because for me to get up a decent sized hill it costs something like twenty quid a head in petrol costs (assuming a reasonably economical car and a full load) plus some sort of accomodation before you even get on to the truly prohibitive one pound a head parking cost? Could I reclaim for my travel expenses off the government?
Sir Chasm - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Milesy: What about if they mounded the car park and planted spruce?
Milesy - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Sir Chasm:

Let them. I will just park at the side of the road close. They won't get a penny from me now out of principal. I always give money to honesty and donation boxes as well.
Sir Chasm - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Milesy: Stick it to da man.
slacky on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to slacky)
> [...]
>
> You do it then. On your two week climbing holidays to the lakes that you talk about in your profile, only use public transport. See how much climbing you get done then. See how different the costs are between four taking public transport and four in a car. Public transport is run for profit, not convenience to passengers. It is more of a luxury than a car.

Wow, thanks for reminding me, I've not changed my profile since 2000, and haven't unfortunately since spent another two weeks in the Lakes. I have however had a number of luxurious holidays, including two one-week holidays to Sardinia and one to Mallorca clipping bolts in winter (all by air & hire car), twelves days in Verdon (train & hire car), two weeks in the Dolomites (air & hire car) and this year have a month in Peru planned. Interspersed with other weekends away in the UK and to Font, by car & tent where I coughed up a few quid each night for camping (which included parking costs, well in the UK at least, they charge separately for that in France).

The point I'm making which you seem to have completely missed is that no one has the "god given right" to park anywhere for free. As others have pointed out, we all happily spend a fortune on equipment and driving our cars (vehicle excise duty, MOT, insurance) to locations yet there are people posting in this thread who are baulking at being expected to pay a few more quid to park a car. If you can afford these 'luxuries' a couple of quid for parking isn't going to send you into bankruptcy.

If you're a regular user then weigh up the benefits of getting a season pass as mentioned higher up in the thread. There is such a seasonal pass option for car parking in the Peak District.
Toby S - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:

Slacky makes a reasonable point, there's a decent service that runs up to Cairngorm so its not completely out of the question. I don't think it's hugely expensive. Although I'll admit to using the car any time I head down there!
jonnie3430 - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to slacky:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
>
> The point I'm making which you seem to have completely missed is that no one has the "god given right" to park anywhere for free.

Eh??? I can think of one (Loch Muick,) carpark that charges, everywhere else is free.

What I am seeing is what has previously been free parking changing to paid parking with all the other costs (petrol etc,) going up at the same time. I am completely missing the point of paying the taxpayer for parking in a open space that isn't used by anyone else and is owned and operated by the taxpayer (me.)
jonnie3430 - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Toby S:

??? It's £56 to get to Aviemore from Glasgow by train. That is the cost to fill my car which will get me there and back with a quarter tank left over. Additional costs aren't that much (insurance, tax, cost of car,) so I make a saving driving there on my own, more with another person, or another three!
Jim Braid - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to jonnie3430: There's more in the NE area

Keiloch (Invercauld Estate)
Linn o' Dee (NTS)
A93 at end of Glen Callater (Invercauld Estate)
Glen Doll
Dalmunzie House Hotel
Glen Tanar

that I can think of straight away.
jonnie3430 - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to slacky:

P.S. I've spent a few summers in Peru, it's awesome. There's cheap public transport and no car park charges.
Toby S - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:

Is that £56 each? Pretty sure you can get it for closer to £20rtn. Or you could get the bus which is even cheaper :-)

Public transport up this neck of woods is dire though and I struggle to to understand how anyone can realistically get about without a car unless they live in the centre of town with no desire to do anything in the hills.

However if Cairngorm did decide to charge you for parking then you could still park in Aviemore and head up on the bus. Free parking available outside Ellis Brigham and Tesco. :-)
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jonnie3430 - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Toby S:

£56 each, I was looking at mountainbiking from Dalwhinnie through to Fort William once and the cost of the train was the main decider to drive somewhere else and head off on a circular loop.
The New NickB - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Milesy:
> (In reply to Sir Chasm)
>
> Let them. I will just park at the side of the road close. They won't get a penny from me now out of principal. I always give money to honesty and donation boxes as well.

What principal (sic) is that?
jonnie3430 - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to The New NickB:

Paying twice for the same service? It's the same as paying extra when you turn up in school, hospital or communicate with your MP. The only defence seems to be that you don't have to pay if you don't go there.
BruceM - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Cam Forrest:
You guys haven't been up to Cairngorms recently...

Every one of those carpark areas from Loch Morlich up to the Ski field now is a pay and display formal car park! The ski field car park is the only one for which the charge is voluntary.

As for public transport up to the ski field, real climbers and walkers leave early and come back very late. We are always the last car there in the car park. Public transport only works for the same sort of people who only go to the hills so they can get back in time for the pub afterwards. And they obviously have too much money.
slacky on 30 Apr 2012
Times they are a changing, what was once free now has to be paid for. Fact of life and a consequence of the high standard of living we have in this country.

I don't agree with the running of public transport for profit either but its an option, and weigh this up against the cost of driving and paying for parking. Invariably when the option arises to share the driving costs the per capita cost decreases.

I'm just a bit sick of the "Thin end of the wedge" being reeled off every time something changes, its a tired and backwards mentality that belies an attitude towards stasis and lack of acceptance of change which like it or not is inevitable in a dynamic system such as society.



Parking charges in Peru shouldn't be a problem, we won't have a car and will be using public transport/foot. Very much looking forward to it :-)
Bob Aitken - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Cam Forrest:
If I can take this argument back one stage, what irks me mightily about the Ben A'an charge in particular is the disconnect there between charging and provision of access and amenity: the Ben A'an path was in a dire state when I went up it a few weeks ago. In the 1980s and 90s FC did undertake major repair and maintenance of that path, but its current state is a sad indictment of FC's lip service to positive recreation management - obstructing fallen trees across the path (specially ironic for a forest agency) and liquid peaty goo over your boot-tops in places.

Contrast that with the charges at Glen Muick, where all the money raised is specifically committed to path management through the Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust, and a major programme of path repair and maintenance is rolling forward.

But then again, parking charges recently imposed at Achallader in Glen Clunie above Braemar (£3 a day again) are claimed by Invercauld Estate to be for the upkeep of the car park ...

Personally I won't pay for access as such, and I want to see some evident local benefit in management, genuine added value, for my day fee of £3. At the moment FC certainly aren't showing that benefit - not at Ben A'an anyway.
digby - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Cam Forrest:

Car park charges. I hate them hate them hate them. I would rather pay some yearly charge and be able to park in any car park without having to worry about change or anything. Trouble is there are too many operators.

When you go out to the hills you go for freedom, not to find the same tedious regimes as in town. And what if you do want to spend a night out having put your car in a pay & display? You obviously can't.

And it's the same cost if you are on a tight budget or well off.

You can believe it that if the FC find little reduction of usage at £3 it'll keep going up in price until there is.
Cam Forrest on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Bob Aitken: Well said. I would say the condition of the path yesterday - and bear in mind the weather has been pretty dry here for several weeks - was about as bad as I've seen in the last thirty years.
Dax H - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to ceri:
>
> It's the same here in Derbyshire, lots of previously free or honesty box carparks are now pay and display (and a lot more than the pound the honesty box charged).

The problem with honesty boxes is that people are not honest. I work in the dales a lot and if I am in the area I will stop in Masham for lunch (about once every two weeks). I always put a quid or more in the box if I have any change and if I dont I make sure to put extra in next time but over the last 10 years I have not seen one single other person put anything in. It is only a matter of time before this becomes a pay and display and I will have to ensure I have change if I want to stop for a buttie or to use the only public toilet in the area.
Love - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Milesy: It may not be popular with people such as yourself but anything that keeps car drivers from further encroaching on the environment is alright by me.

The FC has had to make huge cut backs in its finances and unlike bankers won't be getting a big wedge of a handout. We can all offer sympathy when people are made redundant but measures like these help to keep people in jobs in remote rural areas.
awwritetroops on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Milesy:

Hypothetical situation:-

Me: Here mate, you that Milesy character offae that UKC pish?
CM: Why yes Im’ Miles, xpert mountinere and coffee conisoor .
Me: Whit? Anybody knaw whit this tubes on about?
CM: I think youl’l fined that……..THUMP
Me: Nivir thot I’d get use ay that number ten……
nickyrannoch on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Love:
> (In reply to Milesy) It may not be popular with people such as yourself but anything that keeps car drivers from further encroaching on the environment is alright by me.
>
> The FC has had to make huge cut backs in its finances and unlike bankers won't be getting a big wedge of a handout. We can all offer sympathy when people are made redundant but measures like these help to keep people in jobs in remote rural areas.

A rather strange post. i would have thought car drivers are an integral part of sustaining rural economies.

Love - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to jonnie3430: In reply to your post of 15.18 - You are being asked to pay for parking in an open space that isnt used by FC for growing commercial timber & therefore isnt raising revenue for FC through traditional means. We could ask FC to go back to the sitka farms of the 70s & that would remove most folks desire to park on & take access over their land.
Love - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to nickyrannoch: - Car drivers are only integral to sustaining local economies if they actually place some cash into the local economy, such as in parking charges for example, the vast majority of the Central Belt hillwalking community will buy their pieces & petrol at Waitrose/Tesco/Asda before daring to venture beyond the suburbs. How do they contribute to rural economies?
Milesy - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Love:
> the vast majority of the Central Belt hillwalking community will buy their pieces & petrol at Waitrose/Tesco/Asda before daring to venture beyond the suburbs. How do they contribute to rural economies?

Do they? Don't talk pish.
nickyrannoch on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Love:

Absolute crap. go and speak to a hotelier or b an b owner
Love - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Milesy: don't they? Where does one tend to procure such consumables before heading for the wilderness?

I'd ask you not to talk pish myself but looking at your posts on this subject I can see I'd be wasting my time.
Love - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to nickyrannoch: - how many hoteliers or "b an b" owners in Aberfoyle or Callander rely on custom from the Central Belt hillwalking community?
nickyrannoch on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Love:

Callendar and aberfoyle? My apologies i thought you were talking about rural communities not places within a 20 minute drive of the central belt.
zebidee - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Love: As someone who used to live in Strathyre (near Callander) I'd say loads actually.

The local pubs & hotels were always very welcoming to passing trade from the walkers & bikers heading up the old railway line. The tearoom in Balquihidder gets a massive amount of passing trade.

Any thought that car parking fees will be going into the rural economy is crap as well. This money will go to the central FC budget and be spent from there as well.

As someone else pointed out, the Ben A'an car park has nothing except some space off the main road and a token picnic table. The paths are in a terrible state, here's no signage other than "here's where you pay your £3!"
Ramblin dave - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to nickyrannoch: If people can't run to a three quid parking ticket, they probably aren't going to paying for a B&B either tbf...
zebidee - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to nickyrannoch:
> (In reply to Love)
>
> Callendar and aberfoyle? My apologies i thought you were talking about rural communities not places within a 20 minute drive of the central belt.

I dare you to live out there in the summer & face a 2 hour commute into Glasgow or in the winter in the middle of being snowed in and then to call them "not rural"
zebidee - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to nickyrannoch) If people can't run to a three quid parking ticket, they probably aren't going to paying for a B&B either tbf...

True - but if their choice is between a pay & display car park and another 5 miles down the road for free they'll choose the free one. People are fickle.
Milesy - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to zebidee:
> (In reply to Love) As someone who used to live in Strathyre (near Callander) I'd say loads actually.

I always stop at the Rob Roy Bar In balquhidder actually. Very friendly place. I always buy from the communities. Quite partial to masies tea room in tarbet, the diner in arrochar. Ardlui hotel, kings house, orchy hotel, clachaig. Chippy in callander, Hot rolls in aberfoyle.
Love - on 01 May 2012
In reply to nickyrannoch: Aberfoyle & Callendar are the nearest villages to Ben A'an, the carpark that started the thread. Both are about 45mins/1hour from Glasgow.
zebidee - on 01 May 2012
In reply to Love:
> (In reply to nickyrannoch) Aberfoyle & Callendar are the nearest villages to Ben A'an, the carpark that started the thread. Both are about 45mins/1hour from Glasgow.

Just because a place is close to Glasgow doesn't stop it from also being rural.
nickyrannoch on 01 May 2012
In reply to zebidee:

i think the conversation had rather moved on from ben a'an into the impact of these charges over scotland as a whole but im happy to address the points around that area specifically.

As a former rural development officer i can assure you that by no definition is callander rural. it sits in band 3 of the scottish governments urban rural classification where band 1 is urban and 6 is rural - ie a small accesible town. also, to say that the coach tour,tea and scone capital of europe that is loch lomond and the trossachs is not reliant on the motorist for economic sustainability is frankly laughable.

I would be interested to know what consultation fcs carried out with the local business community when bringing in these charges and how they would react to that.ridiculous as it sounds, for the sake of 3 quid ans for the principle of the matter people will go elsewhere .

Also, dont be fooled into thinking these charges are about protecting local jobs they will go bqck into the central fcs accounts and are as much about protecting jobs in corstorphine as in callander.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 01 May 2012
In reply to nickyrannoch:
> (In reply to zebidee)
>
> Also, dont be fooled into thinking these charges are about protecting local jobs they will go bqck into the central fcs accounts and are as much about protecting jobs in corstorphine as in callander.

That's the main point in my opinion. Government is telling the Forestry Commission to make do with less taxpayer money and become more efficient. The Forestry Commission is reacting by using its ownership of the land to raise money from what is effectively another tax so it can protect its staff and avoid the pain involved in downsizing or outsourcing. If government agencies are allowed to substitute charges for parking or compulsory services (like Health and Safety visits or issuing passports) for tax funding then overall we could well end up paying more into the state sector rather than less.


MG - on 01 May 2012
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
If government agencies are allowed to substitute charges for parking or compulsory services (like Health and Safety visits or issuing passports) for tax funding then overall we could well end up paying more into the state sector rather than less.

Possibly, but we do ultimately have a choice about whether to pay any of those charges/taxes. The net effect is that the money is spent how people think desirable rather than how government thinks best. It also means the general populace doesn't pay for you and me to enjoy forests or travelling.
The alternative of course is an FC with no interest in public access at all and land not managed in any sense for public enjoyment, as someone above pointed out commercial "spruce factories" aren't that pleasant.
kjdicken on 01 May 2012 - host81-142-148-225.in-addr.btopenworld.com
In reply to Cam Forrest: As they have done all this work, if it isn't paid for by the people who use the area, it will be paid for by the tax payer. I realise this comment is shooting myself in the foot really as I too would begrudge having to pay to park in the outdoors, but really it's true.

There are lots of free places to climb still. My local area is Jones Cafe in Tremadog. (If you don't count the tea and cakes). No payment for parking there.
ads.ukclimbing.com
zebidee - on 01 May 2012
In reply to kjdicken:
> (In reply to Cam Forrest) As they have done all this work, if it isn't paid for by the people who use the area, it will be paid for by the tax payer.

I guess that's the point isn't it ... there was no work done at Ben A'an - just a machine and a sign put in saying "pay your £3"

> There are lots of free places to climb still. My local area is Jones Cafe in Tremadog. (If you don't count the tea and cakes). No payment for parking there.

My local crag (Auchenstarry) is within a park area and has a free car park at the foot of the routes but I guess councils have a commitment to encourage sporting activities and recreation which the FC don't necessarily have in their mandate.
Gael Force - on 01 May 2012
I don't pay in forestry commission car parks, they can't enforce the charge at present.
Neil Williams - on 01 May 2012
In reply to Cam Forrest:

The main issue I have with pay and display parking is that you invariably need a load of change to work the machine, which you often don't have handy, particularly where it's e.g. £4 for the day payable only in coins.

They should all accept credit cards. The technology is there, as the ones at railway stations tend to these days. Pay by phone also helps, though probably there'll be no signal in the middle of nowhere to do that.

I see no moral issue with paying to effectively rent a piece of someone's land to leave my car on. Why shouldn't there be a fee for that?

Neil
nickyrannoch on 01 May 2012
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to Cam Forrest)
>
> .
>
> I see no moral issue with paying to effectively rent a piece of someone's land to leave my car on. Why shouldn't there be a fee for that?
>
> Neil

Because it is your land that you already pay for.

I accept that the FCS along with other publicly funded bodies have had their funding squeezed in recent years but it seems to me they have taken the easy/ sneaky option of bunging a service charge to end users with no consultation or accountability.

Lets have a full public debate and consultation with the FCS, local people and businesses and service users where all options are considered - including car park charging, honesty boxes, an FCS membership scheme or 'friends of' scheme. We can also then have a full and honest discussion about where the money raised goes to and what 'facilities' (if any) end users wish to see at FCS car parks.

I will be writing to the MCofS to raise this and would urge other members or members of other relevant bodies to do the same.

Neil Williams - on 01 May 2012
In reply to nickyrannoch:

"Because it is your land that you already pay for."

You could say the same thing about the roads in general. But we accept that using cars, because it is not generally environmentally desirable, attract additional fees. Why is this any different?

The land remains free to access on foot, or by bicycle, or by any other means that doesn't involve your mechanically-propelled vehicle being left on their land. As it should; I would oppose "hiking fees" etc.

Neil
tom_in_edinburgh - on 01 May 2012
In reply to Neil Williams:

> You could say the same thing about the roads in general. But we accept that using cars, because it is not generally environmentally desirable, attract additional fees. Why is this any different?
>

If public sector organisations are allowed to simply substitute charges for central government funding they won't need to become more efficient and the total amount of money taken from taxpayers will stay the same - or even increase.

The New NickB - on 01 May 2012
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
> (In reply to Neil Williams)
>
> [...]
>
> If public sector organisations are allowed to simply substitute charges for central government funding they won't need to become more efficient and the total amount of money taken from taxpayers will stay the same - or even increase.

Extremely naive. The amounts of revenue generated from parking etc is minuscule compared to the reductions in funding.
nufkin - on 01 May 2012
Parking at Loch an Eilein one weekend this winter, I got charged £4.50 (if I remember right). Never have before, so I was a bit surprised, but figured the estate probably spends quite a lot on visitor infrastructure, so wasn't too begrudging.
There was a bloke in a wee shed taking the money. Perhaps it all went to paying him to sit there collecting it?

Not sure how much the FC spends on path maintenance and signage and such. It doesn't necessarily seem fair that only car drivers should have to stump up for it all, but then probably most users do arrive by car.
deanstonmassif on 01 May 2012
In reply to Milesy:

> So my rights of access would be bulldozed.

No; your rights to park for free on someone else's land would be bulldozed.

Please don't confuse ACCESS with CAR PARKING.

The FC are providing a service on their land, and levying a modest charge for doing so is their prerogative. They are not charging for access onto the land under the meaning of the Access legislation.

Yes I agree it is a pain to have to pay for what was previously free, but that doesn't make it wrong.
Doug on 01 May 2012
In reply to nufkin: When I lived nearby I refused to pay for parking on Rothiemurchus estate (including Loch an Eilein) on the basis that they receive large sums of public money (as grant aid) to provide facilities for the public eg rangers, foot path walks, visitor interpretation & I assume, parking.
kinley2 - on 02 May 2012
In reply to Doug: Are Rothiemurchus still trying to charge by the number of individuals in the car for parking? That could be seen as charging for access.

As for car-parking charges in general - that's life. Certainly no more related to hill access rights than the price of a pint in the Clachaig.

Access rights have nothing to do with driving and parking.

Amazing how often drivers of £25000+ vehicles who will be spending £70+ in fuel for a trip will be parking awkwardly near charging car parks to avoid stumping up £2. ;)
tom_in_edinburgh - on 02 May 2012
In reply to kinley2:
> Amazing how often drivers of £25000+ vehicles who will be spending £70+ in fuel for a trip will be parking awkwardly near charging car parks to avoid stumping up £2. ;)

£70 in fuel, about 3/4 of which is duty and VAT. So the government don't really have to hit us for another £2 in tax in the guise of a parking charge. Not to mention the 20% VAT when that £25,000 vehicle was purchased plus £270 in road tax every year.

It is exactly the same tactic as councils going for excessive parking charges and parking fines as a less visible alternative to increasing council tax or cutting costs.

kinley2 - on 02 May 2012
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh: You use - you pay. Unless you've got an inflatable car.;)
Dun Dornaigil on 03 May 2012 - 2.25.182.80 whois?
In reply to Milesy:

The train is the best way to get to Aviemore, Cairn Gorm and Macdui. Or the bus to Braemar.
Take an MTB. (Don't know if the bus'll take it? Last time I cycled up past Linn o' Dee to climb Macdui I had the luxury of starting at Braemar).

The only issue on this thread worth worrying about is how/where you can park up for more than a day. Car park providers need to address that.

I grant it's a bit of a shock when first faced with a parking charge, but it's a tiny amount compared with other stuff you have to pay. Who notices how much VAT they pay in a normal week? What would you spend on a night out? Dump your loose change in the car and it's no problem. As I have to live and work in a deadly dull area of the country, when I get to the hills I'd gladly pay £20 or more every time I use a CP. Adjust your perceptions. £3? What a joke. In some cities you have to pay that for 1 hour in a stinking concrete cage.
In reply to Dun Dornaigil: The overnight parking thing hopefully shouldn't be an issue at the more usual spots. Re. people spending the night on the hill, a FCS spokesperson has told me:

'We recognise that this is the case for hillwalkers at a number of places including Glenmore and we have advised staff to show discretion here ... If they are spending the night away from the car park (not camping there) we would only expect people to pay for a day's rate.'

Also see UKH/UKC news here: http://www.ukhillwalking.com/news/item.php?id=67089
In reply to Cam Forrest: Is this for real? Sometimes UKC is larger than life.

A load of people in Scotland getting all het up about the sporran busting charge of three hundred whole pence for a whole day's parking!!

If someone trolled a thread about a national characteristic to play up to a stereotype, they couldn't do it any better than this.

Three whole pounds.....
Robert Durran - on 03 May 2012
In reply to nickinscottishmountains:
> A load of people in Scotland getting all het up about the sporran busting charge of three hundred whole pence for a whole day's parking!!

No. They are getting all het up (rightly or wrongly) about the principle of it.
In reply to Robert Durran: Yeah maybe, but some of the posts read as if they are using a stated unease with the principle to cover up the simple fact that they do not want to pay. But also when the principle equates in reality to the sum of three whole pounds, it seems comical.
Ramblin dave - on 04 May 2012
In reply to nickinscottishmountains:

They may take our lives -

BUT THEY WILL NEVER TAKE OUR THREE QUID!
In reply to Ramblin dave: Like it!
In reply to Ramblin dave: Here's an interestingly related question, does the process of a country going independent cost more or less than three pounds?
jonnie3430 - on 04 May 2012
In reply to nickinscottishmountains:
> (In reply to Robert Durran) Yeah maybe, but some of the posts read as if they are using a stated unease with the principle to cover up the simple fact that they do not want to pay. But also when the principle equates in reality to the sum of three whole pounds, it seems comical.

While I don't want to pay £3, I don't want to pay 50p either. There is some delightful free access to some amazing countryside in Scotland and it annoys me that someone has started charging for access to it (those that think that walking, cycling or taking the bus to this car park is an option are wrong.) It is as if someone has done a study on "things that you really enjoy doing that are free," and then tried to see how they can get some money from you because you want to do them.

I also don't understand your defence that it is "only £3?" It's £3 more than you would have paid before, and you have to pay it each time you go there. While I go to Ben A'an once or twice a year, charging for car parks has the potential to spread everywhere and your £3 becomes £156 a year if you go climbing every second weekend.

It also encourages people that know the area to use an alternative spot, which then gets overused because it isn't a proper car park (I know a couple of places in this situation.)

I would have thought fundamental choice would have most people saying no to paying for car parks if it was optional. You can spend as much as you like, but if I have the choice, I'd rather park for free.
StuDoig - on 04 May 2012
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com:
>
> 'We recognise that this is the case for hillwalkers at a number of places including Glenmore and we have advised staff to show discretion here ... If they are spending the night away from the car park (not camping there) we would only expect people to pay for a day's rate.'

Hi Dan,
Hard to say from the wording in the article - is that definative from FC or as it reads "advice" i.e up to staff locally whether they charge / impose penalties of not? 0

Cheers for speaking to them and getting commment though, beats the idle speculation that normally arises in this type of thread.

Cheers,

Stuart

Ramblin dave - on 04 May 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to nickinscottishmountains)
> [...]
>
> It is as if someone has done a study on "things that you really enjoy doing that are free," and then tried to see how they can get some money from you because you want to do them.

But it's already not free assuming you pay for petrol, VED, insurance etc. Even less so if you contribute to the local economy by buying coffee, bacon sarnies, beer etc, and even less so if you contribute to the national economy by buying loads of shiny kit. Paying for parking is just another cost, and isn't much in the grand scheme of things.

> I would have thought fundamental choice would have most people saying no to paying for car parks if it was optional. You can spend as much as you like, but if I have the choice, I'd rather park for free.

True, but if I had the choice I'd rather have beer for free, too.

To be honest, I fundamentally agree that in an ideal world there'd be good and cheap public transport to the most popular areas (to avoid needing 5000 car parking spaces at Pen Y Pass etc) and free parking in the rest. It's like having access to free museums and libraries and cheap sports facilities - it's good for the physical / mental / cultural health of the country as a whole. But there's enough that I value in that way that's at risk of getting demolished wholesale at the moment that it seems out of proportion to suddenly draw a line at a poxy parking fee.
In reply to StuDoig: I'm not sure Stuart. I'm not entirely sure that the FCS are sure yet either. It looks positive for now, but in the long run I wouldn't be surprised if they end up having to come up with something more definite than slightly nebulous advice to show discretion. Let's wait and see.
Martin W on 04 May 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:

> There is some delightful free access to some amazing countryside in Scotland and it annoys me that someone has started charging for access to it

No-one is charging for access to the amazing countryside. The FC are charging people who want to leave their cars on the FC's land while they access the amazing countryside. There are arguments to be had about whether or not this is justified but the "charging for access" argument isn't one of them. Just leave it be.

> (those that think that walking, cycling or taking the bus to this car park is an option are wrong.)

There doesn't seem to be a bus service that goes along that road but the car park is accessed from a public road so walking or cycling obviously are options. They may not be convenient options, or options that you like, but they're still options. (I am struggling to understand why anyone would want to take a bus to a car park, though...)
jonnie3430 - on 04 May 2012
In reply to Martin W:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
>
> There doesn't seem to be a bus service that goes along that road but the car park is accessed from a public road so walking or cycling obviously are options. They may not be convenient options, or options that you like, but they're still options.

I was referring to realistic options, ones that will actually get you to the car park in time to do some climbing that day then get home in the evening. Your options are as much use as...

> There are arguments to be had about whether or not this is justified but the "charging for access" argument isn't one of them. Just leave it be.

As the only access is now charged, it is a "charging for access issue!" What is this leave it be stuff? If you aren't bothered why post?
Ramblin dave - on 04 May 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to Martin W)
> [...]
>
> I was referring to realistic options, ones that will actually get you to the car park in time to do some climbing that day then get home in the evening. Your options are as much use as...

So what about properly remote highland crags with half a day walk-in? Is my right of access to them already suspended because noone's built a road to them?
jonnie3430 - on 04 May 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave:

No, but if the only realistic parking for them is charged then it isn't free access.
Ramblin dave - on 04 May 2012
In reply to jonnie3430: Convenient and free are not the same thing.
tony on 04 May 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to Martin W)
> [...]
>
> I was referring to realistic options, ones that will actually get you to the car park in time to do some climbing that day then get home in the evening. Your options are as much use as...
>
Back in the day, it wasn't unheard of for climbers to cycle dozens of miles for a day's climbing. Get up earlier and make a bit more effort.
jonnie3430 - on 04 May 2012
In reply to tony:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
> [...]
> Get up earlier and make a bit more effort.

Why don't you? You are the one that is saying that it is a feasible option. Let me know when you have and whether it is worth doing.
tony on 04 May 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to tony)
> [...]
>
> Why don't you? You are the one that is saying that it is a feasible option. Let me know when you have and whether it is worth doing.

eh? You're the one kicking up a fuss about a parking charge. All I'm saying that real pioneers managed to get a great deal done without the luxury of cars. Park in Braemar and cycle in from there. Should be good for the fitness.
jonnie3430 - on 04 May 2012
In reply to tony:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
> [...]
>
> eh? You're the one kicking up a fuss about a parking charge. All I'm saying that real pioneers managed to get a great deal done without the luxury of cars. Park in Braemar and cycle in from there. Should be good for the fitness.

Good argument, are you going to suggest a hundred year old map and no guidebook as well?
tony on 04 May 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:

I'm sorry, but you're not making much sense to me. You're suggesting that a parking charge is restricting access. That's clearly not the case, since it's perfectly possible to get access to the hills without using the car parks, with enough time to get a decent amount of climbing done. It's been done before, and there's no reason why it shouldn't be done again.

No guidebook would be fine if you're after a bit of adventure. You sound a bit like you want everything handed to you on a plate.
jonnie3430 - on 04 May 2012
In reply to tony:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
>
> it's perfectly possible to get access to the hills without using the car parks, with enough time to get a decent amount of climbing done.

I just disagree with you on this. There is also a difference between possible and practical. Even my local crags are cheaper and faster served by car than by public transport. Bikes are a slower option, especially when you are cycling with a rack and rope. You believe different.

I am suggesting that you try it out, then you may come to the same opinion as me.
In reply to jonnie3430: I think he means parking not in the parking place right by the path where you buy a ticket but the one/laybay a few hundred metres down the road, to avoid the exorbitant three whole pounds.
kinley2 - on 06 May 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to tony)
> [...]
>
> I just disagree with you on this. There is also a difference between possible and practical. Even my local crags are cheaper and faster served by car than by public transport. Bikes are a slower option, especially when you are cycling with a rack and rope. You believe different.
>
> I am suggesting that you try it out, then you may come to the same opinion as me.

I think you're plainly accepting that using the car is more convenient, and not necessary in that post.

Paying to use a carparking facility is paying for the convenience of a facility someone has provided. I'd rather have it for free but I don't get much at that price these days.

Your access rights under Scottish Law specifically exclude motorised transport - there is no free and open access with a car.

By the sound of it you have a car and enough money to pay for the fuel. There are those who have neither.

gilliesp on 06 May 2012
In reply to Cam Forrest:

While I utterly detest these charges and in truth the people who agree with them my criticism lies in the provision by the car park operators of appropriate collection devices. I have been caught without appropriate coinage/notes in remote car parks and some closer to villages in Lakes and Highlands. Warning signs regarding penalties alarm me. It mars the day out in hills and I can assure you I have not been the only person in a panic in the carpark miles from civilisation caught without any appropriate change. Linn of Dee recently is a recent example but I had my NTS sticker on the car so I was all right Jack - not every one was and it's a real nuisance to return drive to Braemar. The charges levied were also unclear they said.
There should be change machines and card paying facilities and these days perhaps, signal permitting, mobile phone payment methods. Even an intercom to support/advice. For weeks the Arrochar machine was not working and many people were concerned over being fined on return to car. The CP 'police' will not probably be hillgoers.

There is a lot of myth developing and ignorance over these newish rural carparks; their proprietors (NTS, FC, estates, etc) should work with us, the hillgoers, in operating them. For example why does the CP never, in my experience, outline the charging arrangement regarding spending several days out in hills? Fact is, a day or three in the hills can be marred right at the start. in the car park! Even if you've learned to remember to bring a bucketload of £1 coins with you. Has anyone been fined/clamped in such car parks?
DancingOnRock - on 06 May 2012
In reply to gilliesp: Especially when you put a ticket on the window that says "This car will be here for another 2 days overnight. Feel free to come back after dark and rummage through the glovebox".
In reply to gilliesp:
> There is a lot of myth developing and ignorance over these newish rural carparks; their proprietors (NTS, FC, estates, etc) should work with us, the hillgoers, in operating them. For example why does the CP never, in my experience, outline the charging arrangement regarding spending several days out in hills? Fact is, a day or three in the hills can be marred right at the start. in the car park!

Alternatively, rather than expecting the CP to seek out the minority of their users who are parking over a number of nights and whinging that they don't do this, have you got off you butt to meet them half way and tried contacting them to ask if an arrangement exists for this situation? Wouldn't that be a good way to work with them, to use your words? Or is that just too difficult?


ring ouzel on 06 May 2012
In reply to nickinscottishmountains: What, work with people to try and come to some consensus? Be all proactive? What happened to you Nick, you'll be telling us to group hug next! :-)
Clint86 - on 06 May 2012
In reply to Cam Forrest: I don't think we realise how damaging car culture is. Money collected should be used directly to aid cycling and public transport. Driving around in ones or twos, long distance, using fossil fuels in a heavy chunk of metal is past its sell by date.
In reply to ring ouzel: Quite right, I need to give myself a stern talking to for not working myself up into a frothy rant, opting instead for a reasonable way of addressing the problem. A "reasonable" way - how despicable of me to type that, let alone contemplate it!! I must be getting soft in my old age! Bring back the rebellion against the non-climbing system!
gilliesp on 06 May 2012
In reply to nickinscottishmountains:

I'd much rather a representative group approach eg MCofS, dealt with the CP authority prior to its commencement of operation. And I will take this up with outdoor organisations. I have, as your cliche puts it, 'got off my butt' to make contact (phone) with various bodies (nil response/ try this person) and will indeed refresh the effort again as it does concern me.

However if you are going to use a carpark up a remote glen, a system should be in place that is workable, operationally clear, welcoming and user friendly. This is largely not the case and there are indeed issues with many carparks.

If my memory serves me correctly threatening signs (fines)were still standing at Arrochar (Succoth) when the ticket machine had been removed (temporarily - days/weeks - I'm not sure). I tried contacting the management and got nowhere fast. Spent a night out in these hills but decided to 'wild' park outwith this CP in case the jobsworths ticketed me.
Robert Durran - on 06 May 2012
In reply to nickinscottishmountains:
> (In reply to Robert Durran) But also when the principle equates in reality to the sum of three whole pounds, it seems comical.

That completely misses the point - the principle is the same whether the charge is 10p or £10.

In reply to Robert Durran: You miss my point - when we are talking about 3 quid, some of the posts on here come across as if people are citing the objection to the principle when in fact they just don't want to pay the three quid.
Robert Durran - on 07 May 2012
In reply to nickinscottishmountains:
> (In reply to Robert Durran) You miss my point - when we are talking about 3 quid, some of the posts on here come across as if people are citing the objection to the principle when in fact they just don't want to pay the three quid.

True, but your earlier post confused that with the prinile of payment.

kinley2 - on 13 May 2012
In reply to Cam Forrest: I think I found a thicker end of the wedge yesterday.

Parked in Luss to do the Luss Hills. Arrived at 0730, parking is charged from 0900-1800. The charge is 80p/hr. Max 9hrs. The machine will charge for uncontrolled hours (i.e. you're paying for time when there is no charge).

Therefore you're looking at £7.20 covering 0730-1630 and you can then get a ticket for overstay thereafter.

This for a car park that on a May saturday afternoon was half-empty.

Thankfully I mis-read the charges in the morning, paid 80p and didn't get a ticket.

I'll park in the Glen Luss road from now on.
Bulls Crack - on 13 May 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:

But you're more than happy to use the car parks they maintain and use/cross the land they manage? The FC increasingly manage for recreation and are far better conservationists than of old so a reasonable parking charge seems only fair.

The 'I'm not paying' stance is reminiscent of the BMC'c ludicrous one (of years ago now to be fair) in response to when charges were brought in at Stanage. There was an argument that climbers shouldn't have to pay because they went to the hill for freedom etc etc. Tourists could still pay of course!
jonnie3430 - on 13 May 2012
In reply to Bulls Crack:

My taxes pay them to maintain and manage land that is owned by the taxpayer. If you want to look at what the FC think then; "we offer visitors many thousands of waymarked walks and trails, cycle routes and bridle paths, open every day and free of charge," is misleading as they aren't free of charge.

I went to Ardnamurchan last weekend, passing about five FC carparks, none of which were pay and display and only one occupied by a campervan which probably stayed there overnight too. If they can afford to let these ones be free, why charge in other places? If you look at the link I posted above about the cost of running a pay and display carpark (£10,000,) it just seems a waste of money to get a small income for the hassle in the grand scheme of things.
kinley2 - on 13 May 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to Bulls Crack)
>
> If you want to look at what the FC think then; "we offer visitors many thousands of waymarked walks and trails, cycle routes and bridle paths, open every day and free of charge," is misleading as they aren't free of charge.

The paths and trails are free of charge. Parking isn't.

I'd rather not pay ridiculous parking charges or have irritating city centre parking rules in the country.

But I'm not mixing up access rights with parking either.
jonnie3430 - on 13 May 2012
In reply to kinley2:

That's like saying you dropped an egg from 20 metres and it didn't break, it was the impact on the floor that broke the egg.

They provide a network of trails from a carpark, there is no trail TO the car park and its network of trails from the nearest population centre or public transport, there is only the road.

What point are they trying to put across with their statement? "We don't charge," would seem to be the one for me. Practically you do have to pay to use the paths, as you need to use the car park.
kinley2 - on 13 May 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to kinley2)
>
> That's like saying you dropped an egg from 20 metres and it didn't break, it was the impact on the floor that broke the egg.

Too deep for me I'm afraid.

Could you repost that link on the cost of running a pay and display. I missed that. Ta
jonnie3430 - on 13 May 2012
In reply to kinley2:

My point was that you can have as many free paths as you like, but if you charge for the car park that the paths go from, in realistic terms you are paying to use the paths.

It's in my response to the article:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=503938&v=1#x6856743
kinley2 - on 13 May 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:

Difficult to know what to make of that. But presumably a £10000 per year cost includes maintenance of the parking facility, maintenance and collection of and from the machines and enforcement.

The former is something the car using public should have no qualms about stumping up for. The middle is an excess cost that would need recouped. The latter can vary from zero to lots (and probably does).
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to kinley2)
>
> My point was that you can have as many free paths as you like, but if you charge for the car park that the paths go from, in realistic terms you are paying to use the paths.
>
I think you are being a bit naive here Jonnie. Over time, prices of all things go up. Some things which already have a cost will go up in price, and some things which do not have a price will change to have a price attached. It would be great if that wasn't so, but the only country where that wouldn't happen is either Utopia or a country with no links whatosever with other economies, or more likely, with no economy at all. Put it another way, in societies with economies, things go up in price with time - and economies are necessary. But when we are talking three quid a pop, it is hard to convince myself to get would up about it or cling like a shipwreck to this principle thing - principle or not, we are talking the sum of three quid a pop. Is three quid really that bad? Be honest here.
jonnie3430 - on 13 May 2012
In reply to nickinscottishmountains:

Of course £3 isn't that bad. In principle, would you rather pay for a public car park, or not?
In reply to jonnie3430:
> In principle, would you rather pay

I would be happy if it were free, but I don't have a problem with paying - I can see why there is a charge to park there. Or put it another way, I would rather it were free but totally see why it is not, and therefore will happily pay. They provide a service, I am the consumer of that service, I pay.

Interesting though that you phrased it like that - earlier in the thread it was about a thin end of the wedge etc etc, now it is about whether or not people would want to pay. And when it comes to three quid, not wanting to pay three quid is just bizarre.
jonnie3430 - on 13 May 2012
In reply to nickinscottishmountains:

So by that reasoning you could totally see why you should pay for every place you leave your car. Someone has left a place for a car and you are leaving yours their.

You can have that approach, or you can have the normal one where most parking is free.
kinley2 - on 13 May 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to nickinscottishmountains)
> You can have that approach, or you can have the normal one where most parking is free.

I live in Edinburgh - the concept that most parking is free is rather amusing.

And enforcement is so rabid here I'm rather inculcated in the concept of payment. I'd somewhat be inclined to think that the enforcement aspect of the Forestry Commission will be limited.

In reply to jonnie3430: No, that is not correct, that does not follow from what I said, re-read what I said looking at the use of the word "some". I see that some things that were free will be charged for, and that some things that were charged for will be charged more, and that some things may remain uncharged.

With the introduction of the Ben A charges, we still have the "normal approach where most parking is free", but Ben A is not among that "most parking" bit.
In reply to kinley2: Me too. But even in the city centre there are still small pockets where parking is free - and some are a stone's throw from George Street, but you do need to be a bit of ninja with highway code to work them out!
kinley2 - on 13 May 2012
In reply to nickinscottishmountains:
> (In reply to kinley2) Me too. But even in the city centre there are still small pockets where parking is free - and some are a stone's throw from George Street, but you do need to be a bit of ninja with highway code to work them out!

Aye - and you need you ninja nunchucks to fight for them! :)


Garbhanach - on 13 May 2012
In reply to DancingOnRock:
> (In reply to gilliesp) Especially when you put a ticket on the window that says "This car will be here for another 2 days overnight. Feel free to come back after dark and rummage through the glovebox".

Good point, even a day ticket is an advertisement that the car owner is away somewhere and they can break in without being disturbed, Linn of Dee which has car parking charges has had regular car content thefts. Are the FC willing to pay for damage to car and lost contents from a vehicle parked in one of their car parks.

As others have said car parking charges are a pain and worry if you are away for more than a day. A visit to the counryside should be enjoyable and a relief from the stress of city life, then you park your car in the country and there are parking charges and signs with threats if you fail to comply to the rules, and the worry if you are away for a few days.
Give us a break FC

kinley2 - on 13 May 2012
In reply to Garbhanach:
> (In reply to DancingOnRock)
> [...]
>
> Linn of Dee which has car parking charges has had regular car content thefts. Are the FC willing to pay for damage to car and lost contents from a vehicle parked in one of their car parks.

Linn of Dee has regular car thefts overnight from cars that are left there overnight.

The bad guys know there are ample numbers of walkers and climbers leaving cars full of goodies there.

You only buy a single ticket there anyway (or none at all as it is a suggested payment rather than a compulsory one).
peas65 - on 13 May 2012
In reply to Cam Forrest:

I think that £3 is not too bad, in the lakes it can be much more extortionate and apparently in places like the forest of dean can be upto £8 for half a day!

In reality most forestry car parks cannot ticket you so if you oppose it, just don't pay.
Fat Bumbly2 - on 13 May 2012
In reply to peas65:
"think that £3 is not too bad, in the lakes it can be much more extortionate"
These are newly applied charges - and it would not do to frighten the horses.
The FC are free to charge what they want and £3 can turn into something else overnight. What has happened in England is a warning.
kinley2 - on 13 May 2012
In reply to Fat Bumbly2:
> (In reply to peas65)
> "think that £3 is not too bad, in the lakes it can be much more extortionate"
> These are newly applied charges - and it would not do to frighten the horses.
> The FC are free to charge what they want and £3 can turn into something else overnight. What has happened in England is a warning.

Probably true - although like everything else cost depends on supply and demand. If you try and charge £10 for a minor car park in an Argyll forest then folks will simply avoid or ignore. The cost of enforcement would almost certainly be financially unsound.

I suspect for a lot of the Forestry Commission car parks there will be no money spent on enforcement. The economics of hiring someone to go round car parks separated by such a difference will almost certainly be outweighed by the likliehood that the majority will simply pay up.

Be interested in an FoI request to see what they're spending on enforcement.


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